A visit to the (Irish) White House

On this final day of the presidential race in the United States, I thought you might like to see a few iPhone pictures from Ireland’s White House, Áras an Uachtaráin.

This is actually the rear facade, now used as the main entry

It is home to Michael D. Higgins, the current (9th) President of Ireland, who was elected last year. Unlike POTUS, the presidency in Ireland is largely a ceremonial role. (Ireland has a prime minister, or Taoiseach.)

The house is in Phoenix Park, (the largest park in Europe), which is also home to the zoo and the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence.

The harp is the national symbol of Ireland and it is featured throughout the house, even on the tea cups.

This garden is also harp-shaped

Portraits of the past Irish presidents line this state room

Divisive politician Eamon de Valera, and a portrait of Lady Lavery, an American who married artist Sir John Lavery. Her likeness (painted by her husband) appeared on Irish banknotes during the 20th century before the Euro

The American Women’s Club of Dublin

The website says they do free public tours on Saturdays. We were supposed to meet the First Lady, but alas, last minute schedule changes and all…

Halloween in Dublin

We went with a few of their buddies from creche. I have no idea why I didn’t emphasize the candy part of Halloween sooner. After the first house, G’s eyes were wide with excitement as if he couldn’t believe his luck. “Let’s go to the next house!” he said, after every house.

This is another friend. The three of them would shuffle to a door and knock one at a time in a back-of-the-wrist, barely audible knock, then they would step far back from the threshold, apparently in case they encountered something other than a candy-offering stranger. A few households invited us all the way in, in the tradition that the children would do a song or dance for their treat. The moms ended up performing on behalf of their children. All we could come up with was the theme song to “Bob the Builder.”